Prayer is an honor and privilege; we can communicate with God the Father, in the Name of Jesus the Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit. In the At Home in Mitford series, popular several years ago, Pastor Tim and his wife have a “prayer than never fails,” which they say when they don’t know how to pray: “Thy will be done…” We may not know His Divine will in a certain situation. But, we can know the basics. First of all, what hinders prayer? Sin. Prayers of non-believers, other than the prayer of repentance, need not be answered even though God knows all about the unbeliever. John 9:31 and Prov. 15:29. “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.” How are we righteous? We are made righteous by Christ’s shed blood and by believing in Him. Christians are righteous, but we still sin, so we need to ask for forgiveness. We need to confess and pray for our own forgiveness, and we need to pray that we will forgive others. Unconfessed sin, inhibits answered prayer. James 4:3 tells us, to consider our motive in asking; if it is selfish, God need not answer. We are not to doubt, James 1:6. Honor your marriage so your prayers are not hindered. I Peter 3:7.
Pray the Word of God back to Him.
One of the greatest prayers we can offer is that the Holy Spirit will draw people to Himself. We can always pray for the salvation of family and friends. It may take 30 years, but I believe God will answer in the positive. “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:6. We may pray for healing, but we don’t know what God has in mind. (Why did the baby die? Why didn’t God heal her?) Our former church had quarterly healing services; the pastor would anoint the forehead of the petitioner with oil, and the deacons would pray for healing. We saw several people healed. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16 KJV We are also instructed to pray as Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6:9-13; and we are to pray for: our enemies, Matt. 5:44; missionaries, Luke 10:2; ministers, Col. 4:3; and our government leaders, 1 Tim. 2:1-3.
In many cases, the Holy Spirit takes our struggling attempts and presents them perfectly to God. Romans 8:26-28. Even so, we may pray with boldness. The curtain is torn giving us access to the Father. Finally, as has been said, it’s not about you or me, it’s about God’s will. Lord, Thy will be done. Amen.